In 2016, bestselling author Asheritah Ciuciu made the decision to embark on a 31-day challenge to read the Bible while eating breakfast every morning. In addition to blogging about the experience, Ciuciu invited readers to join her. More than 1,000 women signed up to take their own Bible and breakfast challenge that year alone. Today, the exercise is the inspiration behind Ciuciu’s new book, Bible and Breakfast: 31 Mornings with Jesus, Feeding Our Bodies and Souls Together (Moody, Oct.).
“I wanted to read the Bible every day; I just felt like I didn’t have time,” says Ciuciu, the author of Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction and several other books on women’s spirituality. “When I was a teenager, I read of a Chinese Christian who vowed, ‘No Bible—no breakfast,’ and I admired his commitment to put God’s Word first in his life. But as I went on to college, then married, got a job, and had kids, that desire became harder and harder to prioritize in my own busy life.”
It’s a common refrain among women, Ciuciu says, but behavioral scientists have proven that new habits are more likely to stick if they’re linked to an existing routine. She applies this distinct approach to the beautifully designed 31-day devotional, which combines reflections on the Bible with easy and delicious breakfast recipes. Offering full-color pictures, step-by-step directions, personal stories, and biblical insights, Ciuciu paves the way for readers to find—and maintain—time to read the Bible.
Bible and Breakfast also addresses another problem many Christians face while trying to engage with Scripture: “Aside from the distraction of social media and the never-ending demands of dishes in the sink and toppling laundry piles,” Ciuciu says, “we also carry a lot of pre- conceptions that get in the way of developing spiritual habits.”
For example, readers often take an all- or-nothing approach to the Bible, which “makes us believe that if we don’t have time for a full 30 minutes of Bible study and prayer, then it’s better to put it off until we can find that time,” Ciuciu says. “But really, that time will never magically appear in our busy lives.”
As a way to help shift readers’ mind- sets, Bible and Breakfast accounts for changing and often hectic schedules with two options for reading each day’s devotion: a shorter “snack” portion and a lengthier “feast” portion, which readers can choose from according to their needs on a given morning. “Most of us don’t eat a perfectly balanced breakfast every morning,” Ciuciu says. “We intuitively know that some nutrition is better than nothing, but we have a hard time thinking that way when it comes to reading the Bible.” One option isn’t better than the other, she says. “It comes down to consistently feeding our souls each day, even just a few Bible bites at a time.”
Along with fostering a connection to God through His Word, Ciuciu encourages readers to practice imperfect hospitality—inviting friends over despite a messy kitchen—to discuss the Bible and read it together. “Perfection is the enemy of progress, and that’s just as true in our devotional lives as it is in our hospitality,” she says. “These kinds of relationships are best built through conversations around the table— crumbs and all.”
But the most important thing Ciuciu wants readers of Bible and Breakfast to discover is that Bible reading doesn’t have to wait for a more perfect time or place—that peace, rest, and joy can be found “right where you are,” she says. “We imagine that someday, our lives will settle down, our bank accounts will fill up, and our relationships will mellow out. But instead, Jesus invites us to come to Him just as we are. Finding joy in Jesus starts right here, right now.”